Deceased Maryland state trooper Shaft Hunter will be honored next Friday at the annual Fallen Heroes Day at the Dulaney Valley Memorial Gardens in Timonium.
The 27th annual day of remembrance will feature the fewest number of honorees since the event's inception in 1987.
"An 11-year veteran of the force, TFC Hunter was killed when his patrol car collided with the back of a parked tractor-trailer on the shoulder of I-95," according to a release. "Hunter, a former Marine Corps Captain was the father of six. He is buried at the Fallen Heroes Memorial."
Fallen Heroes Day recognizes men and women—police officers and firefighters—who have died in the line of duty over the past year.
"Dulaney Valley Memorial Gardens is privileged to be the home of Maryland’s Fallen Heroes Memorial," John O. Mitchell, III, chairman of Dulaney Valley Memorial Gardens, said in a release. "Beyond honoring those who have died in the line duty during the past year, Fallen Heroes Day provides an opportunity for the citizens of Maryland to take time to show appreciation and respect for the dedicated public servants who risk their lives each day when they report to work."
More than 1,000 people are expected to attend the event. Gov. Martin O'Malley, Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown and Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz will give memorial addresses. Baltimore Ravens head coach John Harbaugh will be the special guest speaker.
The release also states this year's ceremony will also honor firefighter Thomas L. Graves, Jr. of the Prince George's County Fire Department, who died on April 16, 1980 in a natural gas explosion, and Officer George N. Ramsburg of Maryland Aviation Administration Police Department (now called the Maryland Transportation Authority Police) who died on February 22, 1974 in an attempted plane hijacking at BWI.
The Memorial Gardens set aside 330 burial plots for fallen heroes and spouses in 1976. Currently, 65 burial spaces are occupied by members of the public safety community.
Fallen Heroes Day begins at 1 p.m. at the Dulaney Valley Memorial Gardens in Timonium. The cemetery is located at 200 East Padonia Rd. Traffic delays are expected.
Fallen firefighter paramedic Mark Falkenhan was honored at the 2011 ceremoney.